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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Simon Scarrow brings the Great Siege of Malta to vivid and unforgettable life in this gripping standalone novel.
Malta, 1565: a vital outpost between the divided nations of Europe and the relentlessly expanding Ottoman Empire. Faced with ferocious attack by a vast Turkish fleet, the knights of the Order of St John fear annihilation.
Amongst those called to assist is disgraced veteran Sir Thomas Barrett. Loyalty and instinct compel him to put the Order above all other concerns, yet his allegiance is divided. At Queen Elizabeth's command, he must search for a hidden scroll, guarded by the knights, that threatens her reign. As Sir Thomas confronts the past that cost him his honour and a secret that has long lain buried, a vast enemy army arrives to lay siege to the island....
©2012 Simon Scarow (P)2012 Headline Digital
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Customer Reviews

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By Darwin8u on 07-19-17

We are all the prisoners of our history.

Typically, whenever I travel to a country I've never been before I try to read both historical and fictional books related to my destination. This summer I took my wife and kids to Malta. This book seemed to fit the bill for a good airplane read. Not too deep or nuanced, but good historical perspective on the Siege of Malta.

The problem was it was just a bit light. It reminded me of a lazy Ken Follett. And I'm not a big Follett fan. It didn't even begin to approach great historical fiction (Patrick O'Brian, Robert Graves, Hilary Mantel). It wasn't literary and when it tried to be literary the voice ended up sounding like a 20th century agnostic and not a 15th century skeptic. But still, it did provide a good basic understanding of the siege and wasn't overly melodramatic (oh, it did have its melodrama for sure...). Anyway, it didn't inspire me to stop reading nor inspire me to hunt out more Simon Scarrow books.

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8 of 10 people found this review helpful


By Thomas on 01-07-13

Good story of a great moment in history

Where does Sword and Scimitar rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have enjoyed all Simon Scarrows books, including this one, but I think his roman "Under the Eagle" series is better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character, Sir Thomas is by far the favorite as he is the main character and so most complete.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not listened to him before

Who was the most memorable character of Sword and Scimitar and why?

Sit Thomas

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 12-23-12

enjoyment excitement

As with Simon Scarrow books, he keeps you entertained with he stories. The plot flows effortly through the book making it difficult to stop listening, or reading. Sword and Scimitar was my first venture into Audible books, and will not be my last if you have more authors as good.





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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Alasdair on 12-23-12

A Missed Opportunity?

It's a difficult balance to maintain a strong story line and, at the same time, establish a convincing historical context. In Sword and Scimitar I'm not totally convinced that the momentous historic events in Malta in 1565 are really given the Olympian status they deserve. After all it addresses the seemingly inexorable expansion of the Turkish empire and the last stand of the Knights of St John and the Maltese people who found themselves as the inadvertent rearguard of Christian Europe. Add in a touch of Elizabethan intrigue and a tragic hero then the result should be assured.



However, the focus on the angst of the principal character, for me, detracts from the events and reduces what could have easily been a five star novel into simply a good book. A lighter touch on the personal and a bit more of the titanic struggle during the summer of 1565 would have improved the balance. It almost seemed that the trials of the central character and, to a lesser extent, those around him, ended up as a distraction rather than a focus where events and story line would interweave. The story line was a tad predictable and had a bit of a feel of being artificial.



It's a pity because the subject matter is unusual whilst being momentous and the link between Tudor England and the Mediterranean island was well conceived and worked. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book and, with some massaging of the personal issues, would make a great film. However, I can't but feel that such a powerful structure and a fantastic concept was not fully developed in the final execution.



I liked the narration in the main although I'm not sure that the understanding of Oliver's character was helped by the tone of voice.



Good but not gripping.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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